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Fall in, soldiers.
We’ve been counting down the days until the premiere of Star Wars: The Bad Batch, the new Star Wars animated series headed to Disney+ with its first episode landing on May the 4th. And while we’re sure the introduction will give you everything you need if you haven’t seen Clone Force 99 in action before, we’re big fans of doing recon and gathering intel ahead of an important mission like this one.
Grab your datapad and get ready because the calvary is on its way.
We first met the Bad Batch in the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars last year.
“The Bad Batch,” (Watch now on Disney+) “A Distant Echo,” (Watch now on Disney+) “On the Wings of Keeradaks,” (Watch now on Disney+) and “Unfinished Business” (Watch now on Disney+) – For a crash course in how these elite clones were deployed during the conflict, watch the Season 7 arc that introduced them. Trust me. Wrecker, Hunter, Crosshair, and Tech leave quite an impression.
Bonus: Obi-Wan Kenobi throws some excellent shade as Anakin Skywalker tries to conceal his relationship with Padmé Amidala and Captain Rex has an emotional reunion with a friend he long thought lost.
To learn more about the Clone that inspired the official name of the Batch, i.e. Clone Force 99, you’ll want to get to know their namesake, 99, and their new recruit, Echo. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to watch these Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes for a deeper dive — and we’d even recommend watching them ahead of The Bad Batch arc in Season 7 for a full chronological rewatch.
“ARC Troopers” (Watch now on Disney+) – In this Season 3 episode, we find out what it takes to become an ARC Trooper and watch Fives and Echo come full circle as leaders. It’s also almost guaranteed to make you sad, so keep a box of tissues at the ready!
“The Citadel” (Watch now on Disney+) – We recognized the foul stench of Wilhuff Tarkin in the trailer for The Bad Batch, but he and Echo have tangled before. In this Season 3 episode, we get more insight into the early days of Tarkin and Anakin Skywalker’s relationship and gain a better understanding of Imperial ideology.
“A War on Two Fronts,” (Watch now on Disney+) “Front Runners,” (Watch now on Disney+) “The Soft War,” (Watch now on Disney+) and “Tipping Points” (Watch now on Disney+) – In this Season 5 arc, we meet Saw Gerrera, who we also glimpsed in the trailer for The Bad Batch, and get a deeper understanding for his formative years as well as the fissures at play in the galactic war.
The Mandalorian, “Chapter 5: The Gunslinger” (Watch now on Disney+) – The Bad Batch marks Fennec Shand’s first appearance in animation, but we already know some of this character’s story. For an introduction, this Season 1 episode of the live-action Star Wars series will give you just a hint at where she ended up after the fall of the Empire.
Then it’s time to suit up and watch Star Wars: The Bad Batch!
Associate Editor Kristin Baver is the author of the book Skywalker: A Family At War, host of This Week! In Star Wars, and an all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Follow her on Twitter @KristinBaver.
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